Grand Avenue – The Third New Land Coming to Hollywood Studios this Autumn!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

There is so much going on in regards to new Disney attractions and lands that I can’t keep up! Today i’m focused on Hollywood Studios. Two of the main additions heading to Hollywood Studios are going to be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land but today Disney have announced some information on another part of the park which is going to be transformed.

Muppets Courtyard and part of the former Streets of America, is being re-imagined by the Walt Disney Imagineers to become a new area called Grand Avenue.

Grand Avenue will be inspired by the unique culture of downtown Los Angeles,  where vintage office buildings and warehouses are being converted to exciting new uses. Guests will get to see “merchants” appear in the area, such as music shops, loft apartments, a tailor and more. Disney say that each window on the street will feature ‘charming displays’. It seems as though these will be fake storefronts that guests won’t be able to enter but will add loads of atmosphere and ‘feels’ to the area.

The current Muppets Courtyard is set to become Grand Park ‘an urban square off Grand Avenue surrounded by shops and restaurants like PizzeRizzo and Mana Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.’  If you are visiting Hollywood Studios in the near future you will already be able to see some changes such as the Muppets Theatre being renamed to the ‘Grand Arts Theatre.’  Don’t worry though – All the favourites such as Kermit and Miss Piggy continue to be stars in the Muppet*Vision 3D show!

More Details On Grand Avenue, Coming Soon To Disney’s Hollywood Studios More Details On Grand Avenue, Coming Soon To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

“California craft ales, lagers and cider are the stars of the drink menu. California wines on tap along with specialty cocktails are not to be missed either. A gourmet non-alcoholic lemonade and soda on tap round out the drink selection. If you’re feeling peckish, try one of the small bites, including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses.”

BaseLine Tap House is something me and Teresa spoke about a few weeks ago on our all girl Facebook Live. The new corner pub will feature Californian beers and wines along with a selection of small bites (and lots of cheese!!) The pictures above are making me seriously hungry!

Grand Avenue will be opening to guests this Autumn, not too far away at all! I for one cannot wait as it sounds right up my street (or avenue should I say 😉 )

Smiles Included,

Abby

The Dress Shop Returns to Disney Springs

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The Dress Shop is a well known apparel and accessory collection which is created especially for Disney Parks. On July 27th The Dress Shop is returning to Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney springs. It was first introduced in the spring and is filled with loads of nostalgia that Disney fans love.

 David Soliman, area manager for merchandise presentation at Disney Springs, describes how they created the shop-within-a-shop at the popular accessories boutique.

“Since the collection gives a nod to mid-century style, we wanted to create a space that would feel sophisticated and unique while complementing the overall story of the Marketplace Co-Op,” explained David. “The dresses and accessories are colorful and beautiful, so we found many ways to prominently showcase them throughout the shop. The best example is the hatbox-inspired platform that greets guests at the entrance. It’s a striking visual that pulls people into the location.”

The Dress Shop Returns to Cherry Tree Lane in Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs on July 27

A quote from Disney’s blog explains how Mariana Martinez who is a graphic designer partnered with the team to develop a “Dress Shop” monogram that is incorporated throughout the area.

“The team wanted something subtle and elegant so I started doodling using the letters ‘D’ and ‘S’,” said Mariana. “We ended up with a lovely monogram that guests may find hidden on the product displays. It’s a funny coincidence that ‘DS’ could also represent ‘Disney Springs’.”

The Dress Shop Returns to Cherry Tree Lane in Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs on July 27

Once The Dress Shop returns, guests will be able to see ten original dresses which were inspired by Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the Orange Bird and the Haunted Mansion. They are also going to be introducing a Cinderella inspired dress which is going to contain metallic embroidery. – Now that is something I would buy!!

I can’t wait to visit this shop, so many pretty dresses to look at!

What do you think?

Smiles Included,

Jess.

Is Tron Lightcycle Power Run coming to the U.S?

Hey thrill seekers,

Rumours have it, Shanghai Disneyland’s TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster may soon be making its way overseas to the major U.S. Disney parks! According to sources, budget and preliminary design teams for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts have been sent out to Shanghai to transform the idea into reality in the U.S.

The addition of a TRON ride to Disney’s U.S. theme parks would be a great addition to the new movie-themed coaster and attractions at Disneyland and Disney World. The Guardians of the Galaxy mission : BREAKOUT attraction is now under-construction at Disney’s California Adventure park, while the massive Pandora: The World of Avatar has recently opened in Animal Kingdom. Furthermore, Star Wars Land rides and attractions are currently being made ahead of their openings at Disney parks in both California and Florida. Therefore, it would make sense to announce another movie-themed coaster.

The Lightcycle ride momentarily places fans into the world of Tron in a lightening speed roller coaster. As seen in the video here, the experience is over in less than two minutes, but it still looks amazingly fun!

It is yet to be confirmed but with D23 just round the corner, we are left to ponder whether Disney will announce the coaster as soon as this weekend!

Let us know in the comments, what you think of this new coaster, which we could see in our parks within the next couple of years!

Smiles included…

Cameron-Jai

Universals Fast & Furious – Supercharged will Debut in Spring 2018!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

Universal have recently released some exciting news – especially exciting for me as Fast & Furious is my favourite film franchise EVER!!

The attraction is going to be called Fast & Furious – Supercharged and will open in spring next year.

You’ve seen the cars. You’ve seen the ction. And soon, you’ll be able to live it.

Back in 2015 Universal announced that a Fast & Furious attraction will be coming to Universal Studios in the future and we now have a exact-ish release time! Fast & Furious is one of the most successful film franchises of all time and this ride is  going to be one of Universals most action packed experiences!

 You’ll feel like part of the “Fast family” as you embark on a thrilling new Fast & Furious adventure that will put you right in the middle of the action.


The ride is set to fuse everything people love about the films with an original storyline and incredible ride technology. Universal have said that you will be able to check out some of the high-speed, supercharged cars you’ve seen in the films and that you’ll be immersed in the underground racing world made famous in the films. You will even get to explore the headquarters of Toretto and his team. “Then, you’ll board specially-designed vehicles for an adrenaline-pumping ride with your favourite stars from the films.”

This action-packed ride will take guests on a high-octane journey that fuses an original storyline, incredible ride technology, popular characters, exhilarating environments, nonstop action and, of course, high-speed cars. You’ll feel like part of the Fast & Furious family as they join Dom Toretto, Hobbs, Letty and Roman on a thrilling new Fast & Furious journey.

Fast & Furious – Supercharged will also feature the Virtual Line experience. If you haven’t heard of this before it allows you to select a time to ride in advance so you can wait in line, virtually, (not standing getting achy legs)  and allows you to enjoy other experiences throughout the park while the app queues for you.

I, for one, am absolutely bursting with excitement for this one! What do you think?

Smiles Included,

Abby

Theme Parks Announce In-Coaster Dining Plans!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

According to recent reports, one theme park in Orlando is planning to offer their visitors ‘In-Coaster’ dining options!

The Park has stated that more and more people that come to Orlando are not getting enough quality time at the parks due to the inconvenience of having to take a break to eat breakfast, lunch or a snack. They have stated that according to research carried out on one of their most popular roller coasters, visitors can save an additional 22 minutes per day by choosing to eat their meals during their ride on a roller coaster.

Some of the dishes already planned for the menu include the following;

  • Soup of the day
  • Rahmen Noodles
  • Curry and Rice
  • Nachos with Cheese
  • Fish and Chips
  • Burgers
  • Ice Cream
  • Custard

The park in question [currently choosing to remain anonymous for commercial reasons] say that although some people may find it difficult to eat a full meal while riding a coaster we hope in time that this will become part and parcel of visiting a theme park.

When asked what they planned to do for riders that exited the ride covered in food the park official stated “We already have a post dinner schedule for clean up, customer can pay an additional $20 to be hosed down after”

Although this does seem a radical idea and many are sceptical of its success, some have even speculated that their is a 1 in 3 chance of people ‘chundering’ during and after the ride, this aside, we are keen to see this food related freak show in operation.

Official opening is planned for 1st April 2018 – so we will be able to provide more information closer to the time. In the meantime if any of our readers have any idea which park this may happen in please leave a comment below.

Happy munching and Smiles included…

Jamie

Orlando Attraction Tickets

Food, Glorious Food.. New Disney and Universal Menus!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So, Universal have released – intentionally or not – some big announcements regarding plans for a new hotel on the land that used to be home to Wet ‘n Wild, patents that point towards a new Harry Potter ride and now.. the menu for Volcano Bay!

Now we all know that Disney aren’t one to sit back and let anyone steal their thunder and are opening Pandora: World of Avatar on the 27th May – 2 days after Volcano Bays debut and they have recently released the extremely intriguing menu.

A couple of weeks ago we got an insight into the weird and wonderful foods that are going to be on offer in the Satu’li Canteen which is Pandora’s sole restaurant and even more interestingly the way in which you can customise and order your meals. There’s some pretty cool things in there such as Na’vi Blueberry Cheesecake – sounds lovely and looks even better! There are some cool takes on traditional dishes as well such as one from the childrens menu – ‘hot dog wrapped in dough’ this isn’t too different to a normal dish so it shouldn’t scare the kids away too much. 😉 You will also find a vast list of alcoholic beverages on the menu such as Avatar Sangria and Banshee Pinot Noir – Fancy :-p.

Take a look at the menu here:

In my previous blog I also took a look into the new system of how you can pre-order and pay for your meals via the app which I think will really help with the  queues. Thankfully, Disney have released the full menu with pricing so you can even start budgeting and deciding on what you want before you leave the country!

Guests to Disney have been able to begin making FastPass+ reservations for Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage from the 24th March.. These are expected to book up very quickly!

I’ve also been taking a look into Volcano Bays menu – we all know swimming makes you hungry so good food inside a water park is essential!

Looking at Universals blog, creating the menu has been a pretty large project in itself.

As a Research & Development Chef at Universal Orlando Resort, I’ve gotten to create some unique food dishes. But it was a whole other experience to help design an entire menu for our third park, Universal’s Volcano Bay.

Said Corporate Executive Chef Steven Jayson, who was very excited to elevate the food and beverage experience at Volcano Bay. ‘From the minute you arrive in the morning until well into the night, you’ll have more than 60 delicious options to choose from, from snacks to entrees to desserts.’

The dishes are all inspired by the islands of the South Pacific and there will be dishes such as Poke Poke Bowl, Mango BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, Island Chicken Salad, Glazed Hawaiian Ribs, Coconut Curry Chicken as well as refreshing cocktails and beers.. Yummaaay!

The dishes will be available to grab a taste of at the following dining locations around Volcano Bay:

  • Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
  • Whakawaiwai Eats
  • Bambu
  • The Feasting Frog

If you’re a fussy eater or a little less adventurous with your food (a bit like Kelly here at OAT) then don’t panic!! All of your favourites such as chicken fingers, hamburgers and pizza will also be available.

Both menu’s are weird and wonderful – which would do you prefer?

Smiles included,

Jess

 

Pandora: World of Avatar Ride Requirements

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So on our last Facebook Live we had a couple of questions about Pandora: The World of Avatar and in particular, will the rides be included in Fastpass+ and what d’ya know Disney released this exact information yesterday!

Lets start with Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney’s description of Avatar Flight of Passage is making me so impatient.

“Get a banshee’s-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of Pandora on a rite of passage you won’t soon forget! Deep in the heart of the Valley of Mo’ara, discover Avatar Flight of Passage—an all-new expedition that lets interstellar explorers like you climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s incredible landscape. Bonding with a mountain banshee is a crucial step in the life of a Na’vi hunter—and flying on the back of one of these powerful winged creatures represents an important rite of passage.Now, as a visitor to Pandora, you’ll finally have the chance to test yourself in a similar way! “

The height requirement for this ride is 44 inches which is approximately 3.6 feet. The age interest is kids, tweens, teens and adults. Most importantly, can you use FastPass+ for Avatar Flight of Passage? The answer is yes. Wooo!

Next up is Navi River Journey, Disney’s description on their website gives me goosebumps..

 “Glide down a gentle, mysterious river and feel a sense of wonder as the full beauty of Pandora reveals itself. Located within the Valley of Mo’ara, Na’vi River Journey offers explorers an experience that has to be seen—and heard—to be believed! As your expedition begins, climb aboard a reed boat and drift downstream. After coasting through a series of caves, and passing by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures of the rainforest, you’ll soon find yourself face-to-face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. The adventure comes to a conclusion as the Shaman demonstrates her deep connection to the life force of Pandora—and sends positive energy out into the forest through the power of her music!”

Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? What’s better is that there is no height requirement for this ride as well as the age interest being for everyone meaning the whole family can enjoy it together. You can also book your Fastpass+ on the Navi River Journey. 🙂

 

Next is Valley of Mo’ara, this isn’t something that I knew a lot about so looking on the Disney website has really got me excited to have a wander around the valley..

 “Walk about through the Valley of Mo’ara and get ready to discover a world like no other! There’s more to Pandora than expeditions like Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey… much more! All around its enormous floating mountains, you’ll quickly uncover the valley’s one-of-a-kind dining and shopping experiences—along with sights, sounds and experiences that include: Exotic plants that come to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night, A Na’vi-built drum circle containing instruments playable by all, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found throughout the land, Brand-new Wilderness Explorers challenges and badges to collect. You may even come across tour guides from Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI), or even an eclectic expat or two!”

There is no height requirement and the age interest is for everyone. There is no Fastpass+ available for the Valley of Mo’ara as there will be no queue lines.

With the opening of Pandora: World of Avatar on the 27th May getting closer and closer we are loving any information that Disney are releasing about it.

Welcome to Pandora—a world similar to Earth… but distinctly unique in so many ways!

I don’t know about you but I really can’t wait and i’ll definitely be booking my fast passes for the Navi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage!!

Smiles Included…

Jess

Disney Announce New Nighttime Spectacular Show ‘Happily Ever After’

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Another announcement! We just can’t get enough 😛

A new nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Magic Kingdom called Happily Ever After will debut on the 12th May replacing the long-running Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. Disney have said that it’s going to include a mixture of Disney storytelling, beloved Disney characters, fireworks and loads more!

“Gather ‘round Cinderella Castle for an awe-inspiring show that’s sure to surprise and delight.”

It appears that it’s going to focus on some of the magnificent adventures that different Disney characters have undertaken to achieve their dreams. Fireworks, pyrotechnics, original animation and a ‘heart tugging’ story line – what more can you ask for?

Happily Ever After is going to start with a dream and will continue to take you on a incredible journey that will capture all of the humour and heart of loads of Disney’s animated films including:

  • Aladdin
  • Big Hero Six
  • Brave
  • Frozen
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The Incredibles
  • The Lion King
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Moana
  • Mulan
  • Tarzan
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Toy Story
  • Up
  • WALL-E
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Zootopia

The show is set to be 18 minutes of lights, laser, projections and fireworks so don’t forget to gather round Cinderellas Castle if you are visiting Magic Kingdom from the 12th May onward.

“It all comes together in a dazzling way—for a fantastical finale to your day at Magic Kingdom park.”

Know Before You Go

  • Don’t forget to check the Times Guide at Magic Kingdom park for schedule and showtimes.
  • It is an outdoor show and subject to cancellation due to inclement weather.
  • Showtimes are subject to change.

So what do you think of the new nighttime show at Magic Kingdom? I for one cannot wait and I LOOOOOOVE the title.

They all lived happily ever after..

Smiles Included…

Jess

 

Universal Release More Information On TapuTapu

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Soooo.. Universal have just released some more, exciting news about TapuTapu!

As you probably know by now, Volcano Bay, the new 30 acre home of incredible rides, creative and immersive environments, relaxing scenery and best of all the new technology that ‘eliminates the fuss and maximises the fun’ is now opening on the 25th May (3 months, 16 days, 6 hours, 5mins….. not that i’m counting or anything!)

Universal have just released the first look at the design of the new virtual queuing system that is TapuTapu.. It looks as though the waterproof bracelets will come in a variety of colours – my favourite is the aqua colour ;-P

“It will transform the way guests experience water theme park entertainment at Volcano Bay”

The TapuTapu will give guests to Volcano Bay the freedom to join ‘virtual lines’ and as Jamie described in his last blog about TapuTapu all you will need to do is walk up to the totem in front of the attraction you are wanting to go on and simply waft your wrist (the one with the TapuTapu on it 😉 ) and then a ‘return time’ will let you know when you need to return. This means you can go off and enjoy Volcano Bays four themes area’s while still in the queue. The clever little TapuTapu will then alert you when it’s time to head over to the attraction. – I’m wondering if you can join more than one ‘virtual line’ at once? Hmmmm..

Universal have also let us in on some more information regarding TapuTapu Play experiences.. This is where you can use your TapuTapu wearable to control and play with many things  throughout the park. This will include things such as streams of water squirting from whales or being able to shoot water cannons and unsuspecting guests floating down Kopiko Wai Winding River. The coolest one in my opinion has got to be the lights that you can control within the hidden caves!

Universal's Volcano Bay grand opens on May 25, 2017.

Every guest entering the park will receive a TapuTapu Wearable to use for the day – there will be no extra charge for these and you will be required to return them at the end of your day.

“No Long Lines,

Endless Fun.”

I’m sooo excited about Volcano Bay opening and I really don’t enjoy queuing so i’m equally as excited to try out one of the TapuTapu’s and chill out at Waturi Beach while my TapuTapu does all the hard work and queues for Krakatau Aqua Coaster for me! 😀

Don’t forget to buy one of our Universal 3 park Explorer tickets if you’re wanting to visit Volcano Bay!!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Busch Gardens 3rd Annual Food and Wine Festival

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Food, wine, animals and rides – I personally can’t think of a better combination.. Well, as long as the animals aren’t drinking the wine and you don’t go on a ride straight after eating 😉

Busch Gardens annual Food and Wine festival will be on every Saturday and Sunday from the 4th March until the 30th April. The festival area will be open from midday until 9pm and the headline concerts will start at 7pm. The whole 9 week festival will be jam packed with chart topping artists and enough food and drink to keep even the hungriest of people satisfied.

busch

 

‘From family-friendly animal encounters and crafts to festival games and live entertainment, the Busch Gardens® Food & Wine Festival is filled with exciting experiences around the park that pair perfectly with your culinary adventures.’

Loads of huge names will be taking centre stage each weekend and the headliners will begin at 7pm over on Gwazi Field. Some of the many artists include:

  • Sat 4th March – Daughtry
  • Sun 5th March – Andy Grammer
  • Sat 11th March – Goo Goo Dolls
  • Sun 12th March – Kool & The Gang
  • Sat 18th March – Young the Giant
  • Sun 19th March – Jason Isbell & John Hiatt Trio
  • Sat 25th March – NBC’s The Voice finalists Craig Wayne Boyd & Adam Wakefield
  • Sun 26th March – El Gran Combo
  • Sat 1st April – DNCE
  • Sun 2nd April – Walk Off The Earth
  • Sun 9th April – Daya and Matt Nathanson
  • Sun 16th April – Newsboys
  • Sat 22nd April – Gilberto Santa Rosa
  • Sun 3rd April – Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Here’s just a snippet of what food and beverage is going to be on offer..  duck tacos, lobster ravioli, bacon mac & cheese, brown sugar rubbed pork belly, banana foster panna cotta, gator bites, and cabernet-filled chocolates – as well as an expanded selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails. YUM!!

Don’t forget that this great event is included with your admission ticket for Busch Gardens – food and beverages are not included and will be available at extra fee’s.

So if you’re heading on down to Busch Gardens between the 4th March – 30th April then make sure you don’t miss out on this four senses masterpiece – my mouth’s watering just at the thought!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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